by Ari Robin McKenna
On March 19, Michelle Sarju announced her candidacy for the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) District 5 School Board Director seat. SPS District 5 includes most of the downtown area from the Sound to Lake Washington and, specifically, the neighborhoods of Capitol Hill, the Chinatown/International District, First Hill, Leschi, Madison, and the Central District. Outgoing District 5 Board Director Zachary DeWolf has been one of those who have endorsed Sarju as her campaign launched.
In an interview with the Emerald, Sarju reflected on her professional life and how she feels it has prepared her to step into this role at this particular, historic moment. She also spoke about why she thinks it’s important the board includes a Black resident from the Central District who has had three children in SPS.
Continue reading Michelle Sarju Talks About Her Candidacy for District 5 School Board Director
The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.
We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Thursday, March 18
LIVE — Bookie Gates | LIVE — Julia Jessie | Update on Shooting in South End | Gun Violence Disruption | Community Voices: Vanishing Seattle Edition | Sarju to run for Seattle School Board
Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 3/18/21
by Ari Robin McKenna
On Friday, Feb. 26, Seattle Public School (SPS) District leaders for the second time announced a presumptive return date for a segment of its student population — despite not having an agreement with the union that represents teachers and other staff, the Seattle Education Association (SEA).
On Dec. 5, 2020, SPS Superintendent Denise Juneau caused SEA to cry foul when she announced a recommendation that students in pre-K through first grade and students in moderate to intensive special education service pathways should return to in-person on March 1. Later in the month, the Seattle School Board unanimously voted in support of Juneau’s aspirational reopening date, and bargaining teams began in earnest to sort through the many details involved in coming to an agreement with the union. In the meantime, a vocal minority of Seattle’s parents mounted pressure on the union to accept this date as though it were a given.
Then, at around 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, the last school day before their projected reopening date of March 1, teachers were again thrown for a loop when the headline on SPS’ website read, “Students in PreK-12 Intensive Service Pathways and Preschool Students Returning In-Person March 11.” This time, the school board voted (with Brandon Hersey the lone dissenting vote) to classify staff members who work with these returning students as essential workers.
Continue reading Leader of Seattle Education Association Reacts to Bargaining Over School Reopening
by Hanna Brooks Olsen
For a district preaching equity, the division of resources is suspect
There’s an agreed-upon rule in the Seattle area, which is that when school levies come up, voters pass them without hardly a second thought. Levies aren’t a perfect way to fund critical infrastructure like schools and public safety, but it’s one of the few tools that Washington lawmakers and public servants have; without an income or capital gains tax, it’s up to the voters to continually agree to tax themselves to fund projects. Continue reading When does Rainier Beach High School Get Its Turn?
by Erin Okuno
This year’s election will fundamentally change the way public education happens in Seattle. Three of the seven school board seats are up for election with only one incumbent running, the Mayor’s race is open with no incumbent (unless Mayor Murray declares a write-in candidacy), and the two at-large City Council seats are also up for election with only one incumbent running. With change being imminent to City Hall and the Seattle School District there is an opportunity to press a racial equity education agenda and reshape education in our city. Continue reading Voters Must Turn Out for Seattle’s School Board Election
by Marcus Harrison Green
Rainier Beach high school students have a simple message for the Seattle Public Schools Board: “Fix our school!”
On Wednesday, nearly a dozen Rainier Beach students traveled to the John Stanford Center in the SODO district to give public testimony at a third successive school board meeting. They demanded long-promised renovations for their school. Continue reading Students Demand Long-Promised Renovations for Rainier Beach High
by Stephan Blanford, Seattle School Board Director
On Wednesday, November 16, the seven members of the Seattle School Board heard some deeply troubling news during a special work session on the budget for upcoming school year. And then the school board proceeded to make that news much worse. Continue reading School Budget Deficit Too Heavy A Price For Our Children